The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has released data indicating that a total of 1,968 cases of Lassa fever have been registered in 112 local government areas across 28 states. This information was shared on the NCDC’s official website in its Lassa Fever Situation Report for Week 37 (September 11 to 17, 2023). The report revealed that 75 percent of the cases were detected in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi.
As of now, there are approximately 7,352 individuals with suspected cases of Lassa fever, and unfortunately, the infection has resulted in the loss of at least 181 lives in the country. The case-fatality ratio stands at 16.9 percent.
According to the NCDC, the number of deaths reported in 2023 is lower than that of the same period in 2022, with a case fatality rate of 16.9 percent compared to 19.1 percent. The report also highlights that 28 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 local government areas.
The three states most affected by Lassa fever are Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, accounting for 75 percent of all confirmed cases. Specifically, Ondo reported 35 percent, Edo 29 percent, and Bauchi 11 percent of the confirmed cases.
The age group most affected by the disease is 21-30 years, ranging from one to 93 years, with a median age of 32 years. The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. Furthermore, the number of suspected cases has increased compared to the same period in 2022.
Regrettably, in 2023, a total of 49 healthcare workers have been infected with Lassa fever across the country. In response to the outbreak, the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to coordinate response activities at all levels.
The NCDC emphasizes that prevention of Lassa fever involves avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practicing good personal hygiene, and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals. It also underscores the importance of early diagnosis and prompt medical care in managing the disease and preventing complications.